Over the coming weeks, with thicker and older ice becoming extremely rare, the arctic sea ice continues to experience record-low levels, with both extent and thickness on track to break winter-minimum records. That being said, a new study conducted by a team of researchers from the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University suggests that it might be possible to refreeze parts of the Arctic ice sheet. As of the press time, although the plan remains to be theoretical, if put into action, the researchers believe that roughly 10 million floating pump devices in the Arctic, with a total cost of around $500 billion would produce a meter of additional ice over the course of one winter season.
Refreezing The Arctic Sea Ice
According to reports revealed by Phys Org, through a geoengineering technique that would rely on wind-powered pumps, the Arizona State researchers believe one of the largest positive feedback mechanisms on the planet can be neutralized. The study, entitled as "Arctic Ice Management", has recently appeared in Earth's Future, which is an online journal published by the American Geophysical Union wherein they have clearly indicated the current rate at which Arctic ice is disappearing it quite disconcerting. Moreover, experts have revealed that humanity is not likely to be able to combat rising global temperatures in the coming decades without the presence of the polar ice cap.
Furthermore, in one of his statements reported by Laboratory Equipment, study lead researcher Steven Desch, together with his colleagues have claimed that efforts to reduce CO2 emissions aren't enough to prevent further ice melt, and they estimate that all summer Arctic ice could be absent by 2030. They added that it is unlikely that CO2 levels and mean temperatures can be decreased in time to prevent this loss, thus, artificially restoring sea ice is an imperative action that they have to do at once. By placing machines that would use wind power to generate pumps, researchers estimate that water could be brought to the surface over the course of an Arctic winter, when it would have the best chance of freezing.
What Are The Challenges?
Meanwhile, one potential problem that experts have anticipated is the presence of high wind gusts or lulls that could increase wind speeds outside the operating range of the turbine, which would reduce overall efficiency. Additionally, the team said that they may also face troubles in preventing the stored water inside the tank from freezing. However, despite these outlined challenges, the authors have highly emphasized that they are manageable adding that a similar wind turbine designs have been implemented at the South Pole station.